Saturday, 11 June 2022

THE SHORTEST SPRING ON RECORD



After a crazy, turbulent winter season that lasted until April, we here on the prairies entered a brief spring period that has now transformed quickly to summer with temperatures in the high 20's and blossoms only just blooming on the trees. 

A walk along English Bay











Thankfully we were able to escape the unexpected April blizzards and rainstorms by escaping west to British Columbia in April where spring was in full bloom . We flew out of Winnipeg just as the storm approached, and landed in the mountain-ringed, oceanside, leafy green city of Vancouver. The city is a bustling beautiful metropolis and perfect for endless walks around English Bay, Granville Island, Davie Village, Yaletown, Robson Street, Gastown and the stunning harbour front.

I can highly recommend the location of the hotel we stayed in: The Executive Suites at Vintage Park, which is a short walk away from the Granville Island taxi and the sweeping panorama of English Bay. It's also just across the street from The Fresh Street Market, an amazing grocery and deli that we visited almost every day.

On our first morning walk we marvelled at the green grass, bright flowers and lush cherry blossoms, knowing we'd left a screaming blizzard behind us. That was just the beginning of our daily outings spent walking up to 20,000 steps a day!


View from The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant

Vancouver is home to incredible restaurants and we soon found our favourites:
The Happy Noodle on Davie Street serves handmade noodles and amazing stir fries. Spicy green beans were one of our favourites. The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant on Granville Island boasts stunning waterfront views of Vancouver at night and serves the freshest, tastiest seafood. I also enjoyed a mouthwatering lobster and shrimp risotto at Ancora another gorgeous oceanfront restaurant that serves Japanese/Peruvian cuisine and looks out onto a marina of luxury yachts and across to Granville Island.
On our final day in Vancouver we discovered another gem of a restaurant—Ca Marche Creperie, hidden away under the Granville Street Bridge. Their specialty is savoury buckwheat pancakes. I had the mushroom pancake, which is filled with sautéed mushrooms cider onion jam, asparagus, goat cheese and a perfect soft-boiled egg. They also serve the most decadent dessert pancakes—strawberry, caramel apple, salted caramel served with buckwheat ice cream. After all that eating it's good that we were walking so much!! 
Mushroom Crepe from Ca Marche Creperie



We did take side trips, driving through the mountains along the famous Coquihalla Highway where the clouds truly meet the road, to the beautiful city of Kelowna. Afterwards we cut down south and had a short stay in the fun city of Seattle. There I can highly recommend The Mediterranean Inn, which has a great rooftop patio, and is in a quirky, hip part of Seattle—close to great restaurants, the incredible Museum of Pop Culture, and the Space Needle.

It was a great three-week trip, the first we've taken since the pandemic, and just the beginning of many more.




BOOK NEWS

In-person book events and conferences are going full-swing now and I'm happy to say, after many virtual book club appearances, I've been able to attend some book clubs, the most recent being with a group who'd read The Savage Instinct. It's so good to get live feedback about your work. So much of a writer's life is spent alone in front of a laptop, it's great to emerge and chat with enthusiastic readers who make all those long hours worthwhile.



I've re-released my romantic suspense, LILAH, with a brand new cover. It's available in paperback and e-book on all Amazon platforms. Also I still have some great new projects on the horizon, but I can't talk about them yet, since they're in the development stage with an agent and publisher. Same goes for some exciting film projects under consideration with a Canadian production company.

CONFERENCE APPEARANCES

I'm happy to announce Ill be presenting at two major writers' conferences:



THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY 2022 CONFERENCE: The leading conference for writers of historical fiction is being held in Durham City, UK in September 2022. As you all know Durham City is my birthplace and the setting of THE SAVAGE INSTINCT. So I'm honoured to be presenting a session there.






COLORADO GOLD WRITERS' CONFERENCE organized by THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN FICTION WRITERS: I attended this conference in Denver about ten years ago and it really inspired me to keep going with my writing. I'm thrilled to be presenting a hands-on workshop there as well as doing some mentoring sessions.

Hopefully I'll be able to update you on my new projects by the time the next blog comes out. In the meantime, happy reading and don't forget how much authors appreciate your reviews on Goodreads and Amazon!


THE SHORTEST SPRING ON RECORD

After a crazy, turbulent winter season that lasted until April, we here on the prairies entered a brief spring period that has now transform...